asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has information to the effect that in the early summer of 1920 Suleiman Rabbub and other well-known Bethlehem Arabs applied for a concession for electric light and power, agricultural development, and motor transport in the Jerusalem district and Jordan valley; that they stated that they were already in possession of a capital of half-a-million and would have no difficulty in raising £2,000,000 or more if necessary; and that Suleiman Rabbub was informed by the administration that no concessions were being made at the time, but that the application would be considered later; whether he will inform the House whether a Report has been received on this application; and, if so, what was its nature?
No information on this subject is on record either in the Colonial Office or in the Departments which dealt with the administration of Palestine during the period referred to. The officer administering the Govern- ment of Palestine has been instructed to ascertain the facts and report them to, me.
Will the right hon. Gentleman be able to give particulars next Tuesday in the Debate?
I hope I shall have the information by then.
Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that the introduction of electric light into Bethlehem is a glaring piece of vandalism?
I think that if my hon. Friend visited the Holy Land he would, see a great many glaring pieces of vandalism, which are not half so scientific or beneficial as the introduction of electric light.